Friday, December 6, 2019
Friday, November 29, 2019
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Minhag Ashkenaz/Yekke MinyanBeit Shemesh Ramat Aleph
Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, 1st night of Succos, Mincha 5:55 PM
write for address
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
"HaKodesh Baruch saw we had passed the test of oppression. Despite all the tzaras, despite all the hatred, all the oppression, we remained loyal. There were a few Jews, meshumadim who sold their souls in order to get glory among the gentiles. There were a few. There were so few that they are insignificant. But Klal Yisroel passed the test. Now Hakodesh Baruch Hu said, I see you passed that test [of persecution in Medieval times]. I'm going to try you with another test now. [The test of Esav's embrace.] Let's see how you work out this test. Now, when I said it was a calamity, it doesn't mean that the test was a waste, no. It was a minority that passed this test too. And those that remained loyal, they were a glorious example of the Am HaKodesh. Those that remain to this day. Many went lost, yes it's true. But an example, in Germany where there was so much assimilation, a number of German Jews decided they are going to fight for the preservation of the Torah. And they built up an Orthodox kehilla that was excellent in every detail. They were machmir in everything. In some respects, they were more frum than the Jews in Russia and Poland were. And they had organized kashrus. Strict hashgacha. Not rabbanim who gave heksherim and were paid for it. No. The kehillias gave hashgacha and were very strict in every detail. And so the minority that withstood the test were a glorious fulfillment of the prophecy that the Am Yisroel will continue forever despite any circumstances."
Rav Avigdor Miller, Recording #855 - "The Kiss of Esav," 11:48
Rav Avigdor Miller, Recording #855 - "The Kiss of Esav," 11:48
Monday, August 12, 2019
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Shabbos Chazon, parshas Devarim, 8 Av, Aug. 9, Friday night, Mincha 7:15 PM.
Write for address: TIDESociety@outlook.com
Write for address: TIDESociety@outlook.com
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Thursday, April 25, 2019
by Rabbi Tzvi Abraham
Chad gadya. Chad gadya.
That Abba bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.
Then came a cat and ate the goat, That Abba bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.
Then came a dog and bit the cat, that ate the goat, That Abba bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.
Then came a stick and beat the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the goat, That Abba bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.
Then came fire and burnt the stick, that beat the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the goat, That Abba bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.
Then came water and quenched the fire, that burnt the stick, that beat the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the goat, That Abba bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.
Then came the ox and drank the water, that quenched the fire, that burnt the stick, that beat the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the goat, That Abba bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.
Then came the shochet and slaughtered the ox, that drank the water, that quenched the fire, that burnt the stick, that beat the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the goat, That Abba bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.
Then came the Angel of Death and killed the butcher, that slaughtered the ox, that drank the water, that quenched the fire, that burnt the stick, that beat the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the goat, That Abba bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.
Then came the Holy One, Blessed be He and slew the Angel of Death, that killed the butcher, that slaughtered the ox, that drank the water, that quenched the fire, that burnt the stick, that beat the dog, that bit the cat, that ate the goat, That Abba bought for two zuzim, Chad gadya. Chad gadya.
Chad Gadya beckons interpretation. It’s the concluding song of the Seder and that’s the key. What do we expect from the final paragraph of an essay, or the conclusion of a play? Something that wraps it up and puts in perspective. That’s what Chad Gadya does.
The Haggadah is much more than the story of the Exodus. It a bird’s eye view of Jewish history, not as a secular historian would see it, but as a sacred historian would see it: as an unfolding of the spiritual destiny of Klal Yisrael, from the beginning, when “our Fathers served idols,” to the end, as we pour a cup for the prophet who will herald the coming of the Moshiach and petition (שפוך חמתך) for the manifestation Divine Justice that will mark the transition from the world we know to the world to come, in which all nations will revere Hashem and honor His Chosen People. Chad Gadya identifies the essential motifs of the religious experience that drives our history.
Chad Gadya – One kid goat that Abba bought of two zuzim (Emunah)
The kid goat represents the Jewish People, which Hashem (Abba) acquired by bringing Bnei Yisrael to Mount Sinai and giving them the Two Tablets of the Law (The two zuzim).
Then came a cat and ate the goat (Kefirah)
The kid goat (the Jewish People ) is set apart from the nations by the emunah instilled at Sinai. The opposite of emunah (revealed faith) is the kefirah of the rationalist who scoffs at anything that cold reason cannot comprehend or ascertain. That scornful, cold intellect is represented by the “shunra,” the wild cat who hunts by stealth and pounces with cunning, killing the kid without compassion.
Then came a dog and bit the cat (The Longing Heart that finds no Peace in Kefirah)
The Hebrew word for dog is kelev, meaning “like the heart,” and that’s what the dog represents, here: the heart, with its longing for love. The enmity between the dog and the cat is the struggle between the longings of the heart and the cold discipline of the intellect. The dog bites the cat because the longing for love, both human and Divine, is the greatest challenge to the rationalist spirit. For some, Judaism is more a matter of the heart; for others, more a matter of the mind. The tension between heart and mind has been a driving force in Jewish history (consider, for example, the rise of Hassidism).
Then came a stick and beat the dog (Torah Disciplines the Heart with Practice and Images)
The stick disciplines the dog. The dog is the heart that longs for love. Unless that longing is guided and disciplined by reason informed by emunah (i.e., Torah), that longing for love will turn to things that are hateful. But how does reason address the heart? Through images and practice (i.e. halachah). They are compared, here, to the stick that disciplines the dog. Without that stick, the heart may entirely reject authority of reason, and descend into the chaos of whim and irrationalism.
Then came fire and burnt the stick (When Mystical Passion Chafes at Halachic Restraint)
The Transcendent Glory of Hashem is revealed through an interior union (d’vekus) unmediated by images, for just as Hashem transcends all things, we know Him most perfectly when we move beyond anything that an image can convey. The mystical passion that aspires to that interior union is the fire that burns the stick (the images and practice) that beat the dog (discipline the heart). When mystical passion “burns the stick,” the communication based on images which reconciles the heart and the mind breaks down, so the heart, swept up in the religious passion of the spirit, can feel constrained by the discipline of religious practice. The result is antinomianism: the rejection of Law and religious authority in favor of religious experience. That can happen on the highest levels, and analogously, in people who have no real knowledge of Hashem, but reject religious law and authority because they feel that it just “gets in the way.” The tension between religious passion and halachic restraint is another dynamic component of Jewish history.
Then came water and quenched the fire (Body and Soul)
Few are fired with desire to know the Transcendent Glory of Hashem, because that fire is so readily extinguished by the flow of feelings and natural impulses that carry them away like an untethered raft on rapids. Those feelings and impulses are suggested by the water that that “quenches the fire that burned the stick.”
Then came the ox and drank the water (The Demands of the Body)
The ox is the natural life of every Jew sustained by the inner flow of natural inclinations. Much as the ox would die without water, the Jew could not live the human life Hashem created him to have without partaking in the “water” --the flow-- of his natural inclinations. The ox drinking water represents the man preoccupied with his natural inclinations.
Then came the shochet and slaughtered the ox (Using the Body in the Service of the Soul)
If we are oxen, we are not only oxen, for we have a Divine Soul. The ox is nourished from below. The Divine Soul is nourished from above. They tug us in opposite directions. How can we avoid being pulled apart? The answer lies in the will, and the single most fundamental choice we can make: the ultimate purpose of whatever we do to feed and care for that ox.
A person can work with the purpose of living in luxury or he can work for the purpose of supporting his family and giving more charity. The choice to serve that higher purpose is the spiritual choice of avodas Hashem that yokes the ox to the service of the soul. The shochet personifies that choice, reciting a blessing and fulfilling a mitzvah while slaughtering the ox for flesh to feed the body. The death of the ox signifies the transfiguration of the physical through everyday tasks when they are done with a higher purpose, so that the efforts we make to feed the body also feed the soul. That higher purpose is like the fire that transforms animal flesh into the sweet fragrance of sacrifice that ascends to Hashem from the altar.
Then came the Angel of Death and killed the shochet (Sin and its Consequences)
But the consecration of everyday tasks is not unobstructed. Adam was made to live forever. He died because he sinned. Just as we still die, we still sin, and the impulse to sin which Adam’s sin implanted makes it hard to lift our hearts to a higher purpose. And so we are torn between an ox that forages the fields and a soul that forages the Heavens. Will it always be like that? Are we condemned to live forever frustrated in our avodah by the leaven of sin and an ox that bellows for the pleasures of his greens?
Then came the Holy One, Blessed be He and slew the Angel of Death (Hope and Redemption)
No! The sin of man brought death to a creature that was made to live forever. Hashem won’t allow that sin to nullify His purpose of creating an immortal being that dwells in a temporal world. Someday He will restore the creature He made in His Image and debased himself with sin to his original dignity. And then, the descendants of Adam will live forever, their soul suffused like Adam’s in the Garden by an Eternal Light that penetrates through his soul to his body and nourishes it from above, so that the tick- tock of time in the natural world no longer measures the length of his days.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Saturday, April 20, 2019
April 23, 2019; 18 Nisan 6:30 PM Mincha
Where: B'nai Brak, 25 Ben Yaakov St., very near the Coke factory, first stop on bus